Side-Effects of Colon Hydrotherapy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 27, 2012

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Colon irrigation or colon hydrotherapy is a form of hydrotherapy that is used to cleanse or clean the colon. In this therapy, warm or cold water is flushed through the rectum with the help of a tube and drained several times through another tube. Adding minerals into the water before doing the treatment can help detoxify the colon. Although, colon therapy promises a normal bowel movement and detoxification of the body, it has several side-effects.


Depletion of Minerals and Nutrients

An excess of water absorption through the colon during colon hydrotherapy can wash the vital minerals and nutrients away from the body. While wiping the bacteria from the colon, it can wipe the good bacteria along with other important minerals such as potassium that can lead to electrolyte deficiency or imbalance. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, the doctor prescribes a set of water soluble vitamins and minerals to be added to water before the procedure.



Infections are common after colon hydrotherapy because of the lack of hygiene practised by the health care provider, who administers the treatment. The infection may be caused due to the use of contaminated equipment or when there has been an elimination of the normal colon bacteria. According to website of Net Wellness Consume Health Information, colon hydrotherapy tubing must be different when used in a different person to avoid the spread of contamination and bacteria.


Perforation of Bowel

According to the American Cancer Society, patients with ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, severe haemorrhoids and colon or rectal tumours, who have just had a surgery of the bowel, are likely to experience a bowel injury. The procedure can easily puncture the wall of the intestines, leading to life-threatening infections and even death.


Overload of Fluid

During colon hydrotherapy, large amount of water is pumped into the colon, which can cause an overload of fluid. Fluid overload is likely to happen in patients with kidney or heart failure, though it can also occur in healthy individuals. According to Net Wellness, absorption of an excess of water may lead to fluid in the lungs, abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting and nausea.



A patient may feel discomfort and cramping during a colon hydrotherapy procedure.  The very presence of a tube in the colon can cause severe pain and cramps. To ease the cramps or discomfort, warm heating bottles or pads may be placed over the abdomen during the treatment procedure to prevent or give relief from pain and cramping.


Read more articles on Hydrotherapy.


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